She sailed in June 1853, and passing up Smith Sound at the head of Baffin Bay advanced into the enclosed sea which now bears the name of Kane Basin, thus establishing the Polar route of many future Arctic expeditions.
The ridge across Denmark Strait west of Iceland nowhere exceeds 300 fathoms in depth, so that the deeper water of the North Polar Basin is effectively separated from that of the Atlantic. A third small basin occupies Baffin Bay and contains a maximum depth of 1050 fathoms. Depths of from loo to 300 fathoms are not uncommon amongst the channels of the Arctic Archipelago north of North America, and Bering Strait, through which the surface water of the Arctic Sea meets that of the Pacific, is only 28 fathoms deep.
Baffin Land is separated from Greenland by Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, from Ungava by Hudson Strait, from Keewatin and Melville Peninsula by Fox Channel and Fury-and-Hecla Strait, from Boothia Peninsula and North Somerset by the Gulf of Boothia and Prince Regent Inlet, and from North Devon by Lancaster Sound.